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I have had an intermittent problem on my S2 Elise which now happens all the time.

Over the last few months when starting the car, there has been the odd occasion when it would not start. After disarming the immobiliser and turning the key, there was a clicking and a failiure to start. Turning the key back and instantly re-trying resulted in the car starting OK.

However, now it will not start at all and re-trying usually results in all the dahboard lights (and by that I mean the blue lighting for the dials) coming on. I initially thiught it might be electrical but the immobiliser is working fine both in terms of disarming and kicking back in after 30 seconds of inactivity. I have removed and tested the battery and its fine.

Obviously the starter motor looks like its the problem, but before I get a new one I have read about something called "sticking starter motor" whereby the terminals corrode and the motor itself has a dead spot. Has anyone experience this problem? The suggested fix was to hit it with a hammer to remove the dead spot!

Edited by Nelly9000
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This sounds like a classic example of a flat or low battery. I'd try charging the battery first :)

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Did you test the battery under load? There is a big difference between just putting a voltage meter across it versus testing the voltage under load.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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In fairness the battery was out of the car when I tested it, but the reading was more or les the same as a new battery I have just bought for my Esprit. For the sake of £50 I will get a new battery and fingers crossed that sorts it.

I have had issues with batteries going flat before but becuase the problem would happen and then "be OK again" I figured the battery was fine.

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Hopefully it will solve your problem - I pay about £25 from Eurocarparts for an 069 battery, they seem to last as long as the more expensive brands :)

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Neil,

While you can't simulate starting load easily without a proper battery tester, you can do a fairly indicative test by putting a multimeter across the terminals with no load on it in the car and then turn on the headlights, radio, the interior fan, hazard lights etc. If you have a bad cell in the battery, or if it is failing, you should be able to watch the voltage on the multimeter drop and keep dropping. If it can't hold voltage on the high side of 11 volts, you can pretty much safely assume it's knackered.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Cool - good luck ;)

And Frank.............you know I'm always right mate :P (I'm crossing my fingers now!!)

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Don't worry, you can relax....

Battery on, all good! Thanks guys for your input.

I am surprised it was the battery as previous failiures were more sudden and never gave me any warning they were on the way out. All part of the learning curve I guess.

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  • 2 years later...

Just to add some closure to this thread in case anyone else has the same problem.

My issue on post 1 was inded the start of the starter motors final moments - it finally failed at the start of August, some 2 years after my first symptons. Changing the battery did initially seem to help but ultimately not the problem itself.

So, if you disarm the car to start it, and then go to do so only to be greeted by two loud cliking sounds when you turn the key and then return it back - thats your starter solenoid adnd you need a new motor.

Got mine from Elise parts.com and delivered the next day - original Bosch equipment as came off the car for £150 all in.

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150GBP may be OK for you

..but I think as a Lotus driver the phrase 'how to use my spanners' should not be a real question ;)

http://www.anlasser-teile.de/Anlasser-Zubehoer:::17.html?XTCsid=97881b989b7edf1fa08904697543a16b

for example 9.90€ for a set of new *Lotus V8 [918]* starter brushes is a good deal (actually those are simple Mitsubishi/Delco parts in the Esprit V8)

..I actually needed some now, as the others (replaced with 'externally outsourced parts' years ago) are now also worn out

-what causes the same result as in your experience, even a freshly charged battery is only good for engaging the starter-solenoid/magnetic switch and pull the gear -but the electric motor does not turn around ..as the worn brushes don't give good contact and therefore the Voltage/Amp drain while atempting to start is to much

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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